Thursday, May 17, 2012

Contrast: Pinion and Pebbles

I've discovered that there are people who always look down when they walk and others, like me, who always look forward or up. I'm not sure why that is, or how people wind up like that, but it's an interesting contrast. My wife is one of those who look down. Consequently, I think that our world looks very different. Even when we walk together over the same piece of ground what we see is never the same.

Feather and Stones; f/3.2, 1/170 sec, ISO 400
The picture in this post is all about contrast. And it's a photo I would have missed had I not taken a lesson from my walks with Kim; for once I was looking down. That's the first contrast. The dissonance between the soft, wispy vanes of the feather on the hard, water-worn stones is the most obvious contrast. The mostly-dark color of the stones beneath the white feather makes for yet another interesting contrast, one made even more stark by my decision to drain nearly all of the color from the picture and to bump up the fine detail contrast in Photoshop Elements. I deepened the shadows for even more of contrast.

The original photo had some good elements to it, and I might revisit it in a future post, but it wasn't until I had a look at it totally desaturated of color that I discovered the incredible detail and the possibility to explore all of the textures and tones. Sometimes color and perfect light can hide the real beauty in a subject. Sometimes the real picture is hidden in the contrast.

I took this picture in 2005 and have always wanted to do something with it. Now I know why I kept it around all these years.

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